Lieutenant General Mike Lundy, commander of the U.S. Army combined arms center, recently stated that the service branch will increase synthetic training operations at home station and combat training centers. Plans are underway to design Synthetic Training Environment (STE) – a single, interconnected training system to prepare units in the most appropriate training domain — live, virtual, constructive, and gaming — or train in all four domains simultaneously. Live training is the traditional method where soldiers practice war fighting on a range or other physical training areas. Virtual training entails the use of simulators that personnel operate to improve their skills, while constructive training simulates enemy forces or other elements that a war fighter might encounter in combat. Synthetic training is considered to be the only way to obtain a high quality of repetition training and can offer a number of scenarios such as different environments, weather conditions, and day and night conditions.
Major General Maria R. Gervais, deputy commanding general Combined Arms Center – Training, said the STE will face some technological challenges. It must be able to capture the entire planet’s terrain, allowing commanders to prepare their units for missions anywhere and will need to replace its vehicle and helicopter collective trainers with ones that are easy to configure, provide realistic training, and are inexpensive to operate.
The training curriculum will be updated to include topics regarding the complex airspace, virtual recruiting and banking activities of enemy forces, as well as psychological assessments on adversaries, local population and coalition forces.
“Getting our soldiers ready to deal with the full range of military operations is one of the big reasons for the STE,” he said. “It’s about building readiness from squads to theater armies.”